unons. INSTITUTIONS, LOCAL AND SELF GOVERNMENTS. 387 the poor, are charged with the care of county records, and can legalize acts of town meetings that are informally called together. The townships and parishes of England have by no means Township and par- that significance which they might have for the well-being of the country population, and this grows in part out of the decay of the old yeo- manry, and the accumulation of land in a few hands. To the counties has always belonged the management of bridges ; and the parishes formerly were obligated to repair all public roads, bridle-paths, and foot-paths. By legislation within this century the superintendence of highways is committed to mixed boards, consisting partly of resident justices and partly of way- wardens elected by the parishes ; and for this purpose the counties were divided into highway districts. The very important office of administering the poor-laws is entrusted to boards of guardians, consisting in part of owners of property and payers of rates in the parishes which make up the various unions. A health act passed as late as 1872 imposes the obligations created by the sanitary act of 1868 and others on boards which, in rural districts, are no other than those of guardians of the poor. Finally, the education act of 1870 gives an independence to rural" parishes by making each a school district " responsible for all the school accommodation of all its children within the school age. " * Thus, with this ex- ception, all the late legislation of England shows that the parish or township is of small account in the local administration ; and this exception is evidently necessary, as children must go to school within the parish, or not at all. We have seen that in France the communes, whether great Government of or small, rural or urban — with two exceptions commtines in Bel- T T» i • — are governed on one system. In .Belgium, by laws of 1836 and 1842, the communal authorities are a council, and a body composed of a burgomaster and schepen or tchemns (sheriffs M. Laveleye now translates these ancient *Brodick, u. s-., 36-44.